All I Would have Missed

I still drive by the street where the cop protected our life on that Saturday. While everyone else will remember it as the day my father died, I have considered every time I drive by Beech Street how things would have been so different had we been killed that day.

Since this will be the last official post for this blog, it seemed appropriate to finish with the highlights of the last year. I have often wondered why I was still here, and instead, I look back on all I would have missed:

My daughter's 18th birthday.
Great books from my Cali cousin,
Reconnecting with my cousin Karen
Co-writing a play Elyce Times One, that placed in the 100 of Writer's Digest Wrting Contest
The reading of that play with the best local actors of our city
A laptop gift
Writing book reviews /getting books and meeting delightful people
New On Line friends: Roberto, Kathy, Greg
Starting a writer's group
My daughter in her senior year, as a full time student
  • getting her temps,

  • and getting accepted to culinary school

The new friendships formed among writers I respect and enjoy
Friends who have seen, heard read me when I was being a jerk, but love me anyway.
Seeing all my siblings in one spot five years after the 1st time in 17 years
Meeting my first born daughter's adoptive mom
The memory box of military memorabilia Mary Lou is putting together,
  • and all the lunches we had together as a result of it.
The first, second and third glossy magazine publishings
My sister's book being published and coming in 2nd place
Winning first place in one category of a writing contest

The long awaited return of my sainted brother
The love of family and friends
A beautiful flower arrangements for Valentines day of 09 (above)
The Jesus blanket sent to me from the church
The finishing of my second screenplay
One of the most speacial Christmas seasons in a long time with many friends,
  • and some different but very cool family
These aren't in the order of their occurence and there are more things. Just because they aren't in the forefront of my mind doesn't mean they aren't important. Things jump out all the time and make me smile. You are one of them, trust me.

I am glad to still be here.
I hope this year is even better than last, but it has been real, hasn't it?
I'll still be posting on The Radical Write. Have a wonderful life.

Johnny Pot with Moog

You'd have to know my dad to appreciate this weird little tune. Yes there's a story involved, it does involve pot and it was a very long time ago.

But I didn't forget it.


There are songs that would make great soundtracks to various parts of ones life. Bruce Springsteen's Radio Nowhere could have been the lead song for the Will Smith movie, I Am Legend.

But there are other times, like, when the black canopy sprinkled with heavenly glitter is the only thing awake while you're sliding down highway 40 going due west.
Your radio probably lost that last station 100 miles out of Albuquerque and for all you know, there is no one else alive...
Check it out...

Can You Inspire?

Can you express a way to make this world a better place? Have you survived something that others might need help getting through?
If you think you have a story, want to help, want to inspire and love to write, draw or create check out this site and see how you can contribute.

Mortimer Adler

"In the case of good books,
the point is not how many of them you can get through,
but rather how many can get through to you."
Mortimer Adler
"A house without books is like
a room without windows."
Horace Mann


To the degree we're not living our dreams;
our comfort zone has more control of us
than we have of ourselves.

Peter McWilliams

YA Fiction Author Rises From Down Under

Gregory Victor Babic
has just broken into young adult fiction with The Profile.

Tenth grader, Danni MacCormack just received a Medallion for Journalism award, and is about to take on the most enterprising endeavor of her young life. Her single mother Ellen, and grandmother Mabel, are bursting with pride.

The story begins in Middlewood, Australia a sort of ghost town waiting for a divine intervention. A town whose heart otherwise seems to be beating its last. The town is a twitter when the surprise guest speaker of the Annual Speech Night, Mr. Dean Lawrence Polking, arrives. He's a homegrown boy turned magnate that has returned to invest in Middlewood High School, and his old stomping grounds, with the grandest architectural retail structure the world has ever seen.

Curious, Danni decides to interview him, but there's a catch: Dean Lawrence Polking has never granted a personal interview ever. The story really gets going when Danni and her friend Kitra make a bet that neither wants Danni to lose.

After studying all the information gleaned from several sources spanning decades, Danni discovers a possible inroad. A personal interview will be granted to the individual who discovers the meaning behind the initials of Mr. Polking's company, HRL. What takes place after that is a fascinating toller coaster ride that rendered the book unputdownable. The charming and quirky characters were so believable, that as I read, I watched the whole thing unfold as if watching a movie.

The book is a bit rocky at the beginning, but by the time Danni makes her bet, it becomes a fast-paced read. Find out how this tenacious girl keeps moving forward in the face of daunting circumstances, and what she discovers along the way.

I enjoyed this book immensely! As most of you know I am not a big reader of fiction, but this read almost like a movie. Bravo, Mr. Babic, I look forward to you next work!

How Much?

My daughter wants a puppy for graduation.
This isn't a big surprise, she loved critters.
We just got over cats and I need a break.
Although she's talking small dog.
I wish I could say yes, but she's going to get a job,
be driving, going to school... so here's my answer,
HERE! This one never makes a mess, shivers, eats
or whines. What more could I want?
This one is free!

A Day in Outer Cyburbia

We were gliding along on techno perfection while the antivirus days went into a single digit countdown. With three days remaining, we paid and began the download that would cover three computers for another year.

But six hours later, (ain't dial up grand?) there were still tweaks and restarts and two hours of it...only to discover that the download failed.
In the meantime, another company contacted, another payment and another download. There were insurmountable software conflicts rendering the new download unsuccessful. Stress escalated while we burned up cell minutes and time trying to locate the process by which one recoups financial refunds.

Many unsavory words later, the XM radio sputters like frying electric bacon and falls silent.
Not a good week. (My always Indian Tech Support people are not sure what to do with a dead radio, and have to call me back...)

The AV countdown zeros out and our computers are as unprotected as naked babies at a hungry wolves convention after a 40 day fast. We go to a physical location and purchase AV software with a real disc and paper instructions. It works on the old XP desktop and we think, what the heck. It'll be easy. It's self maintaining. No worries.

The downloads, at a local coffee shop goes off with out a hitch. Three little laptops in 40 minutes, bing bing bing! All three current and completely up to date. There are glad tidings galore.
Until a tool bar turns up missing. The protection continues, but it keeps squirreling away the toolbar download into quarantine, treating it like a virus.

At home, glad tidings disintegrate, when we realize the software is self-preserving, or more aptly, self absorbed. It will get online, but not allow ANY pages to load. This is unacceptable. We are mostly home PC users with (ho hum) dial up.

I call tech support after five hours of agonizing and they instruct me to do two things: change the Vista firewall, (I do, no change) or take out the software.

Then we discover there is a no return policy on opened software.
Instead of slamming the phone down, I try talking in a calm voice not my own, what's plan "B"? After moments of uncomfortable silences, "Mr. C" writes notes to the desk and gives me a customer number, and his name to show the return desk. Stating, "I can't fix it, and they really should give your money back... I can't promise they will..."

The next morning, I decide to do the unusual. I am alone in the house and say, "The Lord's favor is upon me. And such and so Computer software Company is going to return my money. I say, Jesus, go before me and prepare the way. I thank you that they returned my money. Thank you Lord."

Sure, I put on make up wore nice clothes and even, I never do this normally, wore that fragrance no man can resist--(Or so they said on Sunday morning) Vanilla. My only objective is to restore peace to our house and our budget. Get the money.
the deck is stacked against me. They already have the money, and their longstanding policy is NO RETURNS on software unless defective. It wasn't. The soft ware works great in the wireless places. I walk in minutes after they open and I am first in line. I explain the story.
I am remembering one thing--God plus one is a majority.
"We don't take returns on software," he says.
"I know," I say. "Here's the name of the tech, and the number of the problem we were having. "

This customer service guy is not a people person. He is dark haired young pleasant and skittish as a cat dancing in a frying pan. He keeps looking at me without so much as moving one facial muscle.

"Well, let me go talk to..." He gets side tracked.
"Do you need the card to credit the account?"
"Yeah," he says and he does the transaction anyway, even though they NEVER... "the reason we don't is because you have to give an email address to get the code."
"Yeah, I know."
He credited the account. It was almost as if God Almighty had control of him, despite his complaints, he proceeded. I'm thinking there is something to this talking out loud, like, Thank you Lord for selling my screenplay for 70G's! Thank you Lord for funding Sam's college education! Thank you Lord that XM called me back today and offered a free replacement radio! Thank you that all my friends are wildly successful financially, personally, spiritually and in their work!

From now on, you may see me talking to myself out loud a lot more.

I left there and went straight home.
And you want to know what was totally crazy?
Every light for 24 miles was green.

Revelation Song

This is one of those songs that I just can't get enough of, and I listen to it at least once or five times a month... I put it here so I can easily access it myself, and now you can too. Wink wink.

If I crank it up with my headphones, it almost feels like a song that could be sung in heaven... I hope it blesses you.


We have a coffee house we frequent. We drink bottomless cups of coffee and the wireless is almost always working. The last few tims we've been there, we've run into the same patron. What's unusual is that I barely remember seeing strangers in public places unless they've done something memorable, like, be rude, say something rude, you know. Polite people, unfortunately, are easily forgotten, unless they are servers in restaurants. Any way.
She sat next to me in another chair for hours, I presumed, listening intently on a blue tooth device to the tirades of someone on the other end who needed to bend an ear.
The woman looked distraught at times, smiled at other times, and even spoke to her client in gentle comforting tones. On one occasion, she sounded like she was scolding the person on the other end.
What makes this particular woman unforgettable, isn't her calm Mona Lisa smile, or even her long curly raven hair. It isn't even that she doesn't shave her legs, she doesn't, and even though that is something slightly memorable. Even strangely admirable because it's so anti-conformist.
I listened to Revelation Song, Mazzy Star's Fade Into You for the third dozenth time. I found several other songs to listen to so I wasn't eaves dropping on private counseling sessions. Truth be told, I did listen. I put the headphones on never enabling them, and listened as best I could anyway, without looking at her, so she never knew I could barely make out her whispering voice, softer than a mother to her new born.

Gordo looked at me kind of strange when he would be on the other side of her. But I thought he was just being funny.
After I saw her the last time, I thought her a kind soul to listen to the breaking hearts of others on her own time. I wondered why the people on the other end never complained about the loud coffee house grinding of beans the squealing of steamed milk, or even the blender whining to crush ice.
She steepled her fingers and listened as if searching the grainy wood floor for answers, at at times, she even appeared to be praying. At other times, her brows furrowed and she seemed to be bleeding for the person she listened to, she looked as close to someone on the verge of tears as anyone I'd ever seen. She often shook her head or raised her eyebrows knowingly.
I thought her to be infinitely patient. I wondered where she worked the rest of the time and how she billed for such odd office calls.
One night, I noticed she had three different drinks all at different levels of abandon. Clearly she'd been at this for hours. I wondered who the troubled soul was on the other end of that phone.

Then I discovered, there was no phone. She didn't have a blue tooth on either ear. No phone in her folded hands.

But I asked her name the next time I saw her and introduced myself. I wonder what it is about people in their own little world that gets to me. They don't all freely engage with the exterior one as Lindey does when I ask to plug in next to her chair, or if I can take the seat next to her.
She is always pleasant and sincere.
And memorable.

Happy Valentine's Day

" Love, love, love..."
think Beatles, think hopeful things/
Believe that all you need is love
Consider the source of that love
and tap into it.
I hope you are having a wonderful Valentine's Day
and that no matter what your life circumstances are
there is someone who loves you even more than me.
Gotta love God.


I sometimes stumble accross hilarious sites while looking for photos.
Here's one that had me laughing most of the morning...
Toothpaste for Dinner

Slaying the Query Demon

I've always heard it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. Usually, I don't ascribe to such things--heck, yes I do. I just can't be a blind rule follower. I read the information regarding publishers, their requirements double spaced, typed, snail-mailed Time New Roman (boring) with clips and a query. It's a little daunting at times.

I want to move into a new vein of writing, and the one thing that prevents me is having the right clips. Lo and behold, I discovered a publication that would at least commit to reviewing the work. They'll even make suggestions. Even though it's already completed in my own perspective, they want to see it. Can you believe it? Opening door?

I actually have one such article completed. It's ready to travel. But there's the matter of the letter of introduction. I know I'm not the only one who wrestles words onto paper, in fact, another writer friend recently agonized over similar trouble.

Having read truly atrocious magazine queries I think I'mon relatively safe ground. There's even a website that offers query letter helps. Between the two of those, I'm stamping envelopes this week. Then I start thinking, "Why do I feel so light headed? Why is my heart racing?"

I realize that every time I think about this I start holding my breath. So if that's you too just breathe... let it go. I'm leaning on this one verse, not a request, but a command:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7
How can I travel all this way, stand in front of the door and then wait, doing nothing? Because I'm afraid? Of what? It seems silly when I write it out. And I have to say, the next part of the verse should be incentive enough to follow through...

"For everyone who asks receives;
he who seeks finds;
and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
Matthew 7:8

Judge Roy Moore

"Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book."

Revelation 22:7

America the beautiful,
or so you used to be.
Land of the Pilgrims' pride;
I'm glad they'll never see.
Babies piled in dumpsters,
Abortion on demand,
Oh, sweet land of liberty;
your house is on the sand.

Our children wander aimlessly
poisoned by cocaine
choosing to indulge their lusts,
when God has said abstain.

From sea to shining sea,
our Nation turns away
From the teaching of God's love
and a need to always pray.
We've kept God in our temples,
how callous we have grown.
When earth is but His footstool,
and Heaven is His throne.
We've voted in a government
that's rotting at the core,
Appointing Godless Judges;
who throw reason out the door,
Too soft to place a killer
in a well deserved tomb,
But brave enough to kill a baby
before he leaves the womb.

You think that God's not angry,
that our land's a moral slum?
How much longer will He wait
before His judgment comes?

How are we to face our God,
from Whom we cannot hide?
What then is left for us to do,
but stem this evil tide?

If we who are His children,
will humbly turn and pray;
Seek His holy face
and mend our evil way:
God will hear from Heaven;
and forgive us of our sins,
He'll heal our sickly land
and those who live within.

But, America the Beautiful,
If you don't - then you will see,
A sad but Holy God
withdraw His hand from Thee.

~~Judge Roy Moore~~

Gregory Victor Babic

A Grand resource

It has been a joy to discover Australian author, Gregory Babic’s book, Words to Inspire Writers. As a huge collector of quotes and verses, a 300 author 1,100 quote tome was one just I couldn’t pass up. I've been reading through the gi-normous book of quotes amassed here. My heavens! What a vast body of work! It truly is impressive.

As a book of days with three quotes per day, Babic has designed the passages to carry writers through three stages of a daily writing process: the preparation and planning stage, the creation stage, and “…the Post-Writing or Celebration Stage of Publishing and Marketing.”

I like being surprised daily by the vast number of brilliant authors, spanning thousands of years, from whom Babic has gleaned priceless gems of wisdom. The index in the book’s finale is worth double its weight in gold, and truly simplifies finding favorite authors and quotes. It seems impossible to peruse such a fine volume and not come away inspired and enriched. I’m happy to reference Words to Inspire Writers and recommend it to friends and writers.

It takes two to speak the truth—one to speak, and another to hear.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

Electric For Jack

This is for my friend who is going to get wireless service this week. I hope you love listening to this tune.

Baptism by Fire

This is my all time favorite living artist, Cornelis Monsma.
I think his work can heal you if you look at it because there is so much Holy Spirit in it. Whether or not that is true depends.
He's a prolific painter and I visit this site over and over
just to see what he's up to.
Would you like to see what else he's done?
Click here: Cornelis Monsma

The Light

Forgiven by Stacey Lee Christian
I found some really beautiful work on this site so I wanted to pass it along to you. I remember once wondering what kind of work would I produce as a Christian, and dreaded the thought of being limited to one book to draw from. They clearly think outside the box.
What do you feel looking at this one?
Want to see more?

Ain't Grandma's Religious

This extensive body of work showed at one of the Christian galleries in Philadelphia and now He has a web site. I love the bright colors. I'd proudly hang one of these in my funky house.

Check it out at this link: He Qi

If you're into quirky art, you might want to check out this site by clicking on the link below. It is really
different looking and reminds me of
Shel Silverstein....

I'd be curious to know
what you think...

Because I Still Miss You

I always knew this song would be about Dad.


I've been looking at various types of artwork lately. I don't know if it means I will get back into drawing, or painting myself. I seem to spend a lot of time cutting wood lately.
But this week, I'll be posting interesting abstractions. What images come to you? What thoughts? If you want, you can tell me what you feel when you look at them, starting with this one...
Memorial at Yad Vashem

Pavlova on Success

To follow, without halt,
one aim:
There's the secret of success.
Anna Pavlova
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I either start in November or February with a life style change, so that I don’t lose heart when my regimen doesn’t go according to plan. It's a lifestyle change, meaning I'm adding it to my life no matter how long it takes.

This stems from having failed at diet programs after being obsessed with the scale. Four years ago I began one that required food combining. Although I felt better, and lost a few pounds, I quickly slid off track when my weight plateau-ed. When restarting the program, the hyper-fake voice of the author set me on edge.

I’ve walked, because I heard it’s great for losing 20 pounds. That never happened. I felt more fit, and continue to work out, but I think the trick with walking is to stay out of the kitchen as long as possible…

I’ve biked, crunched, ellipted, Jane Fonda's with aerobic, I synchronized with Denise Austen, exercised, lifted weights and Pilate-ed with several different instructors and I’m not complaining about the strength and flexibility I’ve gained, but I didn’t lose weight. I had a very fit and toned heavy body. Not thinner not lighter.
I tried making peace with my size. Then a sale would come along and I'd be forced to go shopping for clothes. When the size I chose didn’t fit, all I could see in the mirror were all the lumps and curves. All I felt was a growing disgust with a body that seemingly refused to take the right shape and be less all the way around. I promised to starve myself thin again, and fail after a few days. I’d eat lo-cal, no fat, no sugar, no taste foods. All to no avail.
Meanwhile, my exercise buddy shed weight like a snowman in a heatwave.

The most weight I’ve lost in the last five years is about ten pounds, and that might be a stretch. It didn’t stay off and when it came back it brought a few friends.
When I heard someone lost 40 pounds with this book and kept it off, I thought, that’s what I need! A Christian Twelve Step weight loss program.

The book arrived Saturday. The first chapter is so easy, this blonde had no trouble reading through the first lesson. Even though I didn’t know what to expect, I already feel different. I’m only on the first chapter which breaks into daily lessons. I'll finish in twelve weeks. I’ll let you know at the end of each week, how much I’ve lost. Forty pounds in three months would be amazing, but I would be thrilled with 20—my pre-wedding weight. Especially, if I kept it off.

Lunatics in Charge

It is my opinion that the result of desensitization,
is that horrible things no longer shock us.
In the moment that our consciences are cauterized,
we become blind to truth
and we lose compassion for our fellow man.
In spite of all our technology, the free fall decline of man is inevitable.
It is no measure of health
to be well adjusted
to a profoundly sick society.